Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby julie64 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:21 pm

Good thoughts for Tucker it's nothing serious.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:35 pm

No NSAIDs ... he's been a pretty healthy dog so far. One hip is dysplatic, but it's not surgical and it's stable and not arthritic so we have just let it be.

I'm sort of wracking my brain for what he could have going on, but it seems like if it were something really serious, it would have shown something more in the bloodwork ... hmm. I'm still waiting to hear back with his final thoughts on next steps. I know the vet was in surgery all morning, so he was going to be busy til late today. Hopefully he'll call soon. I'm kind of anxious here, though he might just tell me to do a worming and wait and see if things improve.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:38 pm

OK, more info from the vet: Very high PH in urine, lots of struvite crystals. The vet is concerned about stones, though there hasn't been any straining or issues with him urinating. He wants him on a kidney diet starting immediately, then we'll do more tests next week to see if it's having any impact. The bloodwork doesn't show any abnormal kidney values, and his blood sugar, calcium levels and everything else are fine, but he said it's something we'll have to monitor while we figure things out.

So, we'll be feeding prescription foods until we figure out what to do next. Hoping this is something we can easily resolve with some diet changes, but for now, our biggest concern is trying out a food to see if it has any impact on his immediate symptoms.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby Mooresmajestic » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:26 pm

Struvite crystals can caused by the high ph or by a urinary infection. Most of the time once the infection clears up the crystals do as well. A lot of times the vet here puts the dog on a round of sulfa drugs and retests after a month or so and everything is fine. A friends dog had the same basic lab results and he wasn't showing any sign of a urinary infection, he was just sick. The doc put him on sulfas and wanted to do prescription food. She waited on the food and retested after the meds were gone (on the advice of another vet). He has been fine since, that was 2 years ago. That vet (the second one) said all urinary infections will cause a certain amount of struvite crystals to show in a urine sample. The only way to test for true urinary crystal issues is when the dog is healthy and multiple samples. Heck, I've seen the same urine sample sent to the lab come back with 3 different results.
Not saying that's what he needs or what you should do, just some of my experiences.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:31 pm

they said they don't think he has a UTI, since they didn't detect bacteria, though i didn't actually ask if they cultured the sample. the doc said he thinks it's a PH issue, because he said the PH is "very high." he wasn't planning to prescribe right now, just try to change the food for a week and see if it alters the PH first, then go from there.

not sure if that makes sense or is the best course, but that's what he's suggesting. then if it does change, we know what we're dealing with; if not, we try something else and maybe more diagnostics.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby Misskiwi67 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:56 pm

Struvite crystals are clinically insignificant in dogs with negative urine cultures.

Get an x-ray to make sure there aren't any stones, then get a urine culture, preferably from a cystocentesis sample, and if nothing grows, it doesn't matter.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:04 am

weird. well, i'm headed in this morning to pick up the food they want me to feed ... i'll ask about whether they did a culture or not and i'll also ask about the xray. he did say that he'd opt for an xray if the symptoms continue beyond the next week because he's concerned about a stone, but without any further symptoms (straining, frequent urination, excess water intake) he was thinking there probably wasn't one yet and that we should wait and see what happens if we change this food and try to head it off.

so crystals don't necessarily lead to stones?
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby Munkos » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:54 am

Just wanted to pop in -

Our beagle had a few recurrent UTI's and struvite crystals over the course of a few months, I had them culture her urine. We treated and fed the RX food as we were told to. She seemed to get better, the UTI's went away - then maybe a year or so later, she out of the blue pee'd herself just standing there (the only symptom she ever had with UTI's as well - spontaneous peeing) but this time it had spikey stones in it.

I of course called the vet, got an appointment for the next day and by that first evening she was leaking bloody urine all over the house. Prior to that she had no other symptoms - no straining, no excess thirst, no frequent urination, etc.

At this point we had switched vets, and were told that A) her stones had likely been forming for a long while and B) a lot of dogs with stones present with other symptoms unrelated to the stones and that's when stones are found - they often don't have accompanying symptoms until it's bad. Also that, depending on the type of stones they can be dissolved through diet - but for her it was too late.

She was 80-90% blocked with stones, one as large as a golf ball. She was put on meds to treat infection and in surgery a few days later. $4000 later and a very sore puppy, it was over.

The only symptom she ever had, looking back was that her stomach was always sensitive if pushed on in a certain way - she likes to stand over our feet when she wants attention and sometimes DF will lift her back end up with his legs under her tummy - she'd yelp if he did that. But she's very vocal and whiney in general, so we assumed she just didn't like it or that it was because she has a bit of hip dysplasia - this started way before the UTI's did. Since her surgery, it doesn't bother her anymore and she actually bugs DF to do it all the time lol

From now on, we will ALWAYS have an x-ray done the second a UTI or crystals are found in any of our dogs urine. Just to be safe.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:38 am

hey, thanks for that info.

i went in today and got more info ... the vet is definitely concerned about potential for stones, and said there could be stones there now, but since there aren't any other signs, he's going to have us feed the urinary food for one week and provided no additional symptoms crop up, he wants us in next week for another UTI and culture and possibly X-rays. he is hoping that if there are stones forming, the food will dissolve them and we won't need to do surgery. :(

we went for a long walk this morning, and he was peeing just fine it seemed to me. but i am (naturally) worried again.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby dogs4jen » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:49 pm

Another thing that crossed my mind-did they check his urine at the vet's office? Crystals will form on their own if the sample is left sitting for even just a short time, or sent out to a lab.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:57 pm

yes, they did do it at the office ... they actually took a sample from him there, on site.

i just called again (because i'm a ninny and can't stop worrying) and asked them how the anemia plays into this situation, and they told me that the anemia and urinary issues are likely not related, so we may be looking at two separate issues that we need to sort out. i'm going to get some of the wormer they recommend, rather than use the panacur i have at home, just so i'm following all of their directions and doing this methodically and not haphazardly.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:32 pm

Crystals and stones ONLY go together if there is an infection. Crystals without infection mean nothing, and you can have stones without any symptoms (seen it lots of times).

The food is EXPENSIVE, and takes a minimum of 2-6 weeks to dissolve stones, and only works on struvite stones. Why not just take an x-ray and confirm the stones before changing the diet? It just doesn't make sense to me I guess, x-rays are not hard, not invasive, and probably cost about the same as a couple bags of the expensive prescription diets.

What was his hematocrit level?
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby BabyReba » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:32 pm

i have no idea. what is hematocrit level? is that a bloodwork thing or a urinalysis thing?

the vet told me that he is concerned about stones or potential to create them due to the amount of struvite crystals in the urine, which he said were abnormally high, combined with the high PH level of the urine. he said all bloodwork was normal -- no results that would indicate that anything unusual was going on, but we haven't had our followup appointment yet, so i haven't actually seen the paperwork yet. i've only talked to him on the phone ... plus, i don't really know what i'm looking at if i were to look at the papers, so i'm relying on them to tell me what is significant.

as for bacteria, they said they didn't seen anything unusual this time around, but they want to test again next week, when he has his followup, as well as possibly doing xrays.

our vet said the best way to handle things is to try to figure this out via process of elimination and his recommendation is to try one thing at a time. this week we did baseline bloodwork and urine culture and thyroid, got some results, decided to do precautionary worming (though the fecals were negative) and urinary diet.

then at followup next week, we do more urine and blood tests and possibly xrays, then eliminate further things based on that ... his feeling is that being methodical is the best way to pinpoint the problem, but it sounds like maybe that's not a good idea? i'm really not sure based on what i'm reading here.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby Murfins » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:42 pm

I can't comment on dogs but I'm dealing with this right now with one of my cats and was told (and have read multiple things) saying that the Rx food takes a minimum of 6 weeks to show improvement, so I would question what one week on the diet could do. However, having said that, this is for dissolving stones so maybe 1 week is enough to show a change in pH and/or lessening of crystals.
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Re: Tucker doesn't like kibble ...

Postby star_frances » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:03 am

I am dealing with the same issue, but again with a cat, not a dog. We bailed on the idea of the expensive food altogether since he refused to eat it. He was already on a good, high quality diet and I didn't like the ingredients in the Purina Rx diet very much. We opted to use Methigel in his regular food. He eats it with no problems and I can still feel good that he is on a high quality food. I believe the Methigel is for dogs and cats both.

http://www.amazon.com/Evsco-Pharmaceuti ... supplies_4

I was also told it would take 2-3 months to have any effect.

Just a thought since you say Tucker is a bit picky about his food.
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